Ordinarily, golf followers and gear junkies don’t pay a lot consideration to the motive force utilized by the man ranked 104th in strokes gained: off-the-tee on the PGA Tour, however Tiger Woods shouldn’t be an odd golfer.

On the top of his powers, in 2000 and 2001, Woods not solely was among the many longest hitters on Tour, he hit greater than 70 % of the fairways. Accidents, swing adjustments and time away from aggressive golf have eroded his accuracy off the tee, however Woods has proven in current weeks that even after a number of again surgical procedures, he’s able to producing numbers that rank alongside elite drivers on Tour.

Woods, 42, not too long ago made delicate adjustments to his driver which have helped him obtain distance and pace good points.

Woods had used a driver shaft that weighed between 70 and 75 grams for years, and when he returned to motion on the Hero World Problem in 2016 – a number of months after Nike introduced it not would make golf equipment, balls or golf baggage – Woods opted to make use of a 9.5-degree TaylorMade M2 driver fitted with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Professional White 70TX shaft. When he returned to motion at the 2017 Hero World Problem in December, he once more used a TaylorMade M2 with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Professional White 70 TX shaft.

Earlier than the Genesis Open in February at Riviera, having pushed the ball poorly two weeks earlier than at Torrey Pines throughout the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, Woods switched the shaft on his new TaylorMade M3 driver to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft that weighs 65 grams. A change of 5 to 10 grams might not appear to be rather a lot, however to a professional, it’s vital and may end in a participant with the ability to swing the membership somewhat sooner.

Woods additionally famous he had added about zero.75 levels of loft, together with his M3 now set at 10.25 levels, and that the spin price was higher.

Throughout NBC’s broadcast of the Valspar Championship on Sunday, commentator Notah Begay – a longtime good friend and former school teammate of Woods – talked about that Woods additionally tinkered with the size of his driver not too long ago. “He was in a 44 three/Four-inch driver for some time, went to 45 inches and now’s again to 44 1/Four to about 44 1/2 inches,” Begay mentioned earlier than Woods teed off to begin the ultimate spherical.

That size vary is pretty customary for PGA Tour gamers, however it’s value noting that Woods performed a 43 1/2-inch driver for a few years.

If two golf equipment have the identical weight however totally different lengths, the longer membership may have a better swing weight and can really feel heavier throughout a swing. So whereas including size may enhance Woods’ clubhead pace a contact, the extra vital results of going to a barely longer shaft may very well be a change in really feel. The longer, lighter driver may really feel much like the previous driver that was barely shorter however heavier.

Woods additionally has accomplished a big quantity of tinkering with the moveable weights in his TaylorMade M3 this season. Within the picture beneath, taken throughout the Wednesday pro-am earlier than the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, the 2 weights are each within the heart channel, which ought to scale back spin and launch angle whereas boosting ball pace and sustaining a impartial side-to-side weight bias.

Tiger Woods’ driver throughout the pro-am on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports activities)

Within the picture beneath, taken throughout Sunday’s last spherical on the similar occasion, it’s clear that each weights have been moved.

Tiger Woods TaylorMade driver

Tiger Woods’ TaylorMade driver throughout the last spherical of the Farmers Insurance coverage Open. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports activities)

This break up positioning would improve spin and launch angle, and since the weights are pushed towards the perimeter of the top, this set-up would enhance the second of inertia and improve forgiveness. It seems the load within the toe is barely farther alongside the channel than the load within the heel, so this setup would have a slight fade bias.

Two weeks later, after making the shaft change and going with extra loft, Woods reconfigured the weights on this driver once more earlier than the Genesis Open. As may be seen within the picture beneath, one weight was positioned ahead and one was simply into the fade channel.

Tiger Woods TaylorMade driver

Tiger Woods’ TaylorMade driver throughout the opening spherical of the Genesis Open. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports activities)

Per week later, earlier than the Honda Basic at PGA Nationwide Resort & Spa, the picture beneath exhibits Woods once more tweaked the load settings in his driver. The burden within the fade channel seems to be in the identical spot, however the weight within the heart channel is farther again than at Riviera.

Tiger Woods TaylorMade driver

Tiger Woods’ TaylorMade driver throughout the first spherical of the Honda Basic. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports activities)

Testing gear on the vary or in observe rounds at dwelling is sensible, however trusting it within the warmth of battle on the PGA Tour is one thing else totally. Woods has performed solely 13 measured rounds this season, so it’s comprehensible he’s nonetheless honing the mixture of the brand new TaylorMade M3 head, his shaft and his Bridgestone Tour B XS ball.

As Woods likes to say, it’s a course of, and this one might proceed all season as he appears to sharpen his driving.